The impact of climate change on the demography of meteorological disaster mortality

Emilio Zagheni, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Erich Striessnig, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

Global warming is likely to affect the frequency and intensity of floods. The actual impact of meteorological disasters on populations will be determined by the interaction of these events with the ability of societies to cope with them. In turn, the resilience of societies will depend on factors like socio-economic development, demographic composition, level of education, institutions, and infrastructure. In this paper, we evaluate the heterogeneous impact of meteorological disasters on populations, along the dimensions of age, sex, and development. In the spirit of model life tables, we combine independent data sources to evaluate the differential impact of floods, storms and hurricanes. The WHO mortality database provides deaths by age, sex and cause for a large number of countries; EM-DAT offers information on number of deaths for different types of disasters, across countries and over time; existing country-specific surveys provide information about age- and sex-specific profiles of mortality for some natural disasters. We evaluate the impact on age- and sex-specific mortality and the consequences in terms of potential years of life lost. The results are relevant to identify subgroups of populations which are more vulnerable to natural disasters and to predict how development may reduce the impact of climate change.

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Presented in Poster Session 1